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Up to 400 16 and 17-year-olds could be jailed every year for threatening people with knives under Kenneth Clarke’s plans to extend mandatory custodial sentences.

The Justice Secretary also plans to bring in mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of a second very serious sexual or violent crime.

Under the proposals, anyone aged 16 or 17 convicted of using a knife or other weapon to threaten or endanger someone would face a four-month detention and training order, the main custodial sentence for under-18s.